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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Full disclosure – Tell your bankruptcy attorney everything!

Posted by David Leibowitz on October 27th, 2009 in Bankruptcy Crimes

We meet clients who have secrets.  But bankruptcy is no place for secrets.  Bankruptcy requires full disclosure.  Clients who don’t disclose all of their assets, all of their income or even all of their debts could lose their discharge in bankrutpcy.  Why?

Everything that you say in your bankruptcy petition is supported by your solemn oath, under penalty of perjury.  So if you leave out something important from your bankruptcy petition, and it is clear that you knew better, there’s a strong likelihood that you can lose your discharge, just for making a false oath.

You also have to keep your paperwork intact.  How much you need depends on how significant your business and debt is at the time you file your case.  However, the more sophisticated you are, the more paperwork you must have. Failure to provide necessary papers to a trustee could result in loss of a discharge too.

You have to answer questions honestly too.

If you fail to do so, not only might you lose your discharge, you might also be committing a bankrutpcy crime.

Count on us at Lakelaw to help you file your bankruptcy papers correctly.  Call us today at 1 866 LAKELAW (5253529).  Lakelaw represents people in bankruptcy cases in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Does your bankruptcy lawyer have malpractice insurance?

Posted by David Leibowitz on October 23rd, 2009 in Uncategorized

Your bankruptcy attorney should take pride in his work.  And your bankruptcy lawyer’s work should be professional and competent.  We at Lakelaw take pride in our work. And we put our money where our mouth is too.  We carry more than $1,000,000 in malpractice insurance.  So far, after 35 years, our carriers have never had to pay a claim!

You can check to see whether your Illinois bankruptcy attorney carries malpractice insurance at

We were surprised to find that some of the biggest names in the industry don’t carry malpractice insurance.   This is no reflection on the competence of their work.  But you, the consumer, have the right to know.  And you have the means to find out.

We at Lakelaw stand by our work.  And we stand by you, our valued clients.

Bankruptcy isn't the total solution – another perspective

Posted by David Leibowitz on October 14th, 2009 in Bankruptcy, Wisconsin

Today, I met a new client seeking to file a bankruptcy.  She faced moderate debts and also a large installment loan on her car.   She was unemployed.  But the future looks brighter for her.  Why?  This fifty-something client has taken advantage of the time given her during unemployment.  She has been studying at the local technical college in Wisconsin and has learned a new profession.  I’m not going to mention the specifics to protect her privacy.  However, when she graduates from the program, there will be a job waiting for her.  She’ll be able to keep her house thanks to a loan modification agreement – there actually has been one offered to her.  She’ll be able to support herself thanks to her new job.  And thanks to bankruptcy, she’ll enjoy a fresh start and a sound financial footing.  Wisconsin offered this client job retraining support – a fact which can be very useful to know for other Wisconsin clients facing bankruptcy and unemployment in light of factory closings in Kenosha , Racine and Janesville.

We at Lakelaw know that you are hurting.  We at Lakelaw care about your financial future. You can count on us for far more than just a bankruptcy petition.  We’ll work with you from start to finish and beyond to be sure you get the relief you need and deserve and the fresh start to which you are entitled.

Bankruptcy can't solve all problems – get new skills if unemployed – Never give in!

Posted by David Leibowitz on October 14th, 2009 in Uncategorized

Bankruptcy can help people with debt.  Bankruptcy doesn’t solve problems for people without income.

In this horrible recession, we frequently see clients who are facing bankruptcy and foreclosure because they have lost their jobs.  Bankruptcy allows an honest debtor to get a fresh start.  However, bankruptcy can’t solve the problems of those who don’t have adequate income with which to live.

Recently, I met a prospective client who has been solidly a member of the upper middle class.  He made more than $100,000 per year.  He and his wife own a nice home in a nice neighborhood.  His wife raised their three children as a full time mom and homemaker.  Now he has lost his job. He works part time in retail.  His wife works part time in retail.  Their combined family income is less than $2000/month.  They can’t pay the mortgage any more. It will even be hard for them to pay their rent, eat and live on the income they make.  They will almost certainly lose their home to foreclosure.  No loan modification can possibly work as 31% of their income isnlt even $700/month – not enough to sustain any mortgage on their moderately priced home – a home which has gone down in value more than 30% since the market peak.

What can be done for this middle-age couple and their family?

Bankruptcy alone is not the solution. Aside from their mortgage, they have hardly any debt.  They will have to sell their house and may have a hard time doing so because of the market. Their house may have to be sold in a short sale. 

The problem here is less debt related and more income related.

The Solution – Retraining and re-education

People are resilient. They can learn new skills.  Community colleges can help people evaluate their skill-set and set them on a course of retraining to productive work for which there is a demand.  We can no longer be a nation of consumers and store clerks.  We need to produce goods and services which people need and leave us and others around them better off.  Every community college can help people learn the skills they need to be able to survive and thrive in the the 21st century information economy. 

Never give in

The words of Winston Churchill have never been more apt – “Never give in.  Never give in. Never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.”

What is Lakelaw doing in Wisconsin? Consumer Bankruptcy and Mortgage Foreclosure Defense

Posted by David Leibowitz on October 11th, 2009 in Bankruptcy, Chapter 13, Chapter 7, Mortgage Foreclosure Defense, Mortgage Modifications, Wisconsin

Lakelaw represents people in Wisconsin in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases and in defending against mortgage foreclosures.  Our office is in Kenosha.  However, we can help you just about anywhere in the State.  In Wisconsin, lawyers frequently appear in court by telephone and remote access.  We find it saves us a lot of time driving around the state.  We think that if this is good enough for us in working with the courts, it’s good enough for you in working with us.  If you would like to work with an outstanding, Board Certified, bankruptcy lawyer, recognized throughout
Wisconsin for expertise in mortgage foreclosures, Lakelaw is the place for you – from Eau Claire to Kenosha and from Monroe to Green Bay.  If you are reading this blog, you have demonstrated that you are techologically advanced.  We use technology to project our practice throughout the state.  Call 1 – 866- LAKELAW (525 – 5359) for bankruptcy and mortgage foreclosure help now.

Why do I have to give paystubs to my bankruptcy attorney?

Posted by David Leibowitz on October 11th, 2009 in Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy procedures, BAPCPA

At Lakelaw, we ask all our clients to give us paystubs from their jobs for the six months prior to the date that they are filing their bankruptcy case.  It’s a pain in the neck.  We know.  Why do we ask?  Congress requires us to ask.

Under the “means test” you are considered to be abusing the bankruptcy system by filing a chapter 7 case – a straight bankruptcy – if your “current monthly income” is more than the national median.  What does that mean in plain English?

If you make more than 1/2 of the people in the country for a family your size, Congress thinks you should be filing a chapter 13 case, all things considered.

Just to be sure you are not noodling your numbers, Congress figures out what you are making now by averaging what you made over the past six months.  So even though the past six months does not reflect your present income, it does define your “current monthly income” for means test purposes.

If you make more than the median income for a family our size, we can sometimes qualify you for chapter 7 if you “overcome the presumptions” of abuse.  For this, we need to do a detailed means test analysis.  We charge you extra for this.  It takes us an hour or two to analyze your situation and decide the proper outcome for you.  We’ll explain more about this in a future post.


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